811.244/3–1545: Telegram

The Ambassador in Colombia (Wiley) to the Secretary of State

399. Reference Department’s 292 of March 13. Federation manager Mejia denies vehemently that deduction of 1% loss in weight from prices offered is a legal OPA requirement and hints that Army is being deceived by importers into including this condition. Mejia will probably propose that Federation make sale directly to Army on C.I.F. New York basis which he says would enable Army to economize over $200,000 in commissions to importers there and would incidentally give Federation additional profit of 7½ cents per bag. However, Machado’s representative here has already accepted Federation’s price for 200,000 bags and these will be shipped during March if shipping is available.

In order to counter Mejia’s claim that 1% loss in weight clause is unusual and unheard of, please telegraph urgently in name of United States Government that such clause is legal and integral part of OPA regulations and cannot be withdrawn.71 If Mejia should be right and this condition can be withdrawn, no further obstacle to deal seems likely. If he is mistaken, Embassy hopes to make general agreement in principle stick by pointing out that Colombian Government agreed to F.O.B. Colombian seaport equivalent of OPA ceiling prices and that weight loss condition is integral part of such equivalent.

  1. Authorization was sent in telegram 307 to Bogotá, March 16, 1945, 3 p.m., not printed, to inform the Colombian Government that OPA regulations required the deduction of 1 percent for loss in weight (811,244:3–1545). For the pertinent regulation, see 9 Federal Register 901.